The “strategic collaboration” is set to take advantage of Nokia’s work in wireless, wireline, and 5G technologies. AWS will offer up its extensive cloud expertise. By joining together the two firms say they will be able to help each other and their enterprise and service provider customers.
The companies cited four specific focus areas for the deal.
Nokia plans to provide service providers with consulting, design, integration, migration, and operation help for infrastructure and applications tied to their AWS deployment plans.
Customers of Nokia’s Nuage Network software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) service will be able to integrate into AWS’ cloud. And they will be able to use an integrated user interface to manage connectivity in a hybrid environment.
Plus, the companies plan to generate 5G and edge cloud strategies. This includes providing guidance for customers through reference designs developed by both Nokia and AWS.
They also plan to target the burgeoning IoT space by combining AWS’ Greengrass and machine learning efforts with Nokia’s multi-access computing (MEC) and Intelligent Management Platform for All Connected Things (IMPACT) platforms.
AWS rolled out its Greengrass software in June. Greengrass is designed to help edge devices process data and communicate with the AWS cloud. The software takes advantage of AWS’ Lambda project, which has become the basis for the recent surge in serverless computing.
Nokia was one of the initial members of the Greengrass program.
Nokia said the collaborative nature of the deal could help the company target new market segments.
“Our collaboration with AWS will accelerate the migration of service provider applications to the cloud and enable us to forge new opportunities together by delivering on next-generation connectivity and cloud services,” said Nokia Chief Strategy Officer Kathrin Buvac, in a statement.
Analysts seemed to concur, noting the agreement should provide some significant benefits for both companies as well as the market.
“This can really be a synergistic deal,” said Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Dan Conde, who explained both companies don’t really compete head-to-head in any one area, but should be able to fill in coverage gaps through the deal.
Conde noted the deal could be important to the IoT ecosystem. As an example, Conde said Nokia’s IMPACT platform will benefit from the machine learning embedded in Greengrass. While Greengrass will be able to take advantage of Nokia’s work in deploying mobile network components closer to end users.
“IoT devices that might be deployed out on a farm will need to be connected to a mobile network to support lower latency, which is something Nokia is very familiar with,” Conde said. “And the ability to insert something like Greengrass into that deployment will allow for smarter processing of information at the edge of the network.”
Conde said the SD-WAN collaboration could see similar benefits.
“Now we have branch computing devices talking directly to the cloud and not back to a data center,” Conde said. “This allows SD-WAN to be more involved in IoT as a sensor in a branch office can be used as part of the IoT backhaul transport or for more direct connectivity back into the cloud.”
Conde said that should the collaboration prove successful, it could also put more pressure on Nokia’s rivals.
“I don’t think this deal is exclusive between Nokia and AWS, so someone like Ericsson could try to sign a similar deal, or maybe go after one of AWS’ rivals in the cloud space,” Conde said.